From Dorchester you can also take a shuttle bus out to Poundbury. Designed by architect Leon Krier under the instruction of the Prince of Wales, Poundbury is a mixed urban development of town houses, cottages, shops and light industry. Prince Charles' aim was to demonstrate how traditional architecture and modern town planning could be used to make a thriving local community where residents live and work in close proximity. The town hosts a regular farmers market, where you can go to purchase local organic goods fresh from the farm.
If you're a Thomas Hardy fan then a holiday in Dorset offers the chance to see all that atmospheric scenery first-hand. Many of Hardy's novels were set in the' Wessex' countryside, and you can visit his birthplace and family home here. The town of 'Casterbridge' in Hardy's novels is based on Dorchester, Dorset's historic country town, which is a good place to wander around and shop. At the Dorset County Museum you'll find a collection of Hardy memorabilia, and many of Dorchester's buildings lay claim to a part in the novels. 'Hardy's Cottage' in Higher Bockhamption is now owned by the National Trust. This pretty little thatched cottage is where Hardy was born and lived until he was thirty-four. 'Under the Greenwood Tree' and 'Far from the Madding Crown' were written here. You can also visit 'Max Gate', on the edge of Dorchester; the house Hardy designed in 1885 and lived in for the rest of his life.